The voluntary sector must understand and recognise the
importance of Best Value for themselves as well as local
authorities, two reports published this week argue.
The documents – one for local government and one for the
voluntary sector – warn against ignoring the significance of the
Best Value framework and its implications for partnership and joint
“There is a danger that some voluntary organisations may see
Best Value as, at best, an irrelevance or, at worst, a threat,” the
voluntary sector guide states.
Written by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations and
the Improvement and Development Agency, the guides highlight the
key role best value plays in the government’s modernisation
programme and the increasing impact it will have on the voluntary
sector in terms of winning local authority contracts.
“If voluntary organisations are to realise the opportunities
that Best Value offers them, it is important that they understand
what local authorities are required to do, and how and where they
can contribute,” the NCVO and IDeA agree.
“Most importantly, voluntary organisations will need to think
carefully about how they themselves can demonstrate that they
provide a Best Value service in order to gain or retain local
authority funding to deliver local services.”
The Best Value framework came into force in April 2000 in place
of compulsory competitive tendering and applies to all government
services. Its guiding principle is to deliver services to clear
standards covering both cost and quality by the most effective,
economic and efficient means available.
Partnerships for Best Value: working with the voluntary
sector is available from 020 7296 6513 and To Mutual
Advantage: Getting the Best Out of Best Value can be obtained
by telephoning 01536 399016.